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ScotRail Class 380s run as first electric trains between Edinburgh and Glasgow

Class 380s have made history as the first electric trains to run between Edinburgh and Glasgow in preparation for the Class 385s next year – which, as ScotRail Alliance boss Alex Hynes told RTM, were slightly pushed back as part of a necessary “dose of realism.”

Stock from ScotRail Alliance’s existing fleet was therefore used to run services between the two major Scottish cities.

The seven-carriage 380s will provide more seats for customers and are the first passenger trains to make the journey since Network Rail finished electrifying the line earlier this year.

Hitachi unveiled the first of the 70 new units in October as part of Transport Scotland’s Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP).

Following the launch of the first Class 380s on the Edinburgh and Glasgow via Falkirk High route, Hynes said the move was a “key milestone” in electrification.

“As we prepare for the arrival of our brand-new Hitachi trains next year – which will deliver faster journeys, more seats, and better services – we will start running electric trains from our existing fleet between Edinburgh and Glasgow via Falkirk High,” he continued.

“The running of these electric trains from our existing fleet is an important milestone ahead of the arrival of the brand-new Hitachi trains. It’s another key stage in our plan to build the best railway Scotland has ever had.

“Being able to run some services with seven carriages will mean more seats for our customers, and we will also deliver some faster journey times.”

Humza Yousaf, Scottish minister for transport, who wrote for the latest issue of RTM, added: “The introduction of electric services is a key milestone in the EGIP and yet another sign that our £5bn investment to 2019 is helping build the best railway Scotland has ever had. It also paves the way for the arrival of our new fleet of Class 385s, to be phased in over the coming months, offering passengers faster, greener and longer trains.

“I’d like to offer my personal thanks to all the many people who have worked on this significant electrification project as their efforts come to fruition.”


Huguenot   12/12/2017 at 12:27

Well done. It's good to have some cheery electrification news for a change.

Alexander   12/12/2017 at 15:54

Pretty scruffy track and lineside vegetation control if the picture is recent and of the right line?.

Andrew Gwilt   12/12/2017 at 21:21

Good to see the Class 380's now operating on the newly electrified line between Glasgow and Edinburgh via High Falkirk. Next year will see the Class 385's to start passenger services on the Edinburgh-Glasgow via Falkirk line aswell on other services it will operate on.

Jeds   13/12/2017 at 16:06

Because there is no first class in the 380s this has been temporarily with drawn from all services, including those run with the 170s, on the E&G. Expect to hear complaints!

Neville Hill   14/12/2017 at 14:56

This is good news, but is anyone else struggling with the seemingly popular expression 'best railway Scotland has ever had'? I'm sure some Scottish routes will soon have the most frequent trains they've ever had, probably the fastest stopping trains they've ever had, and other 21st-century perks such as on-board WiFi. All these things are great and probably satisfy 90% of what modern-day passengers need. But the 'best railway ever' generally? That would need porters to carry your bags, restaurant cars on longer-distance trains, carriages with lovely soft lighting and comfortable seats, branch lines (or integrated, connecting buses) to all but the most remote communities, parcels and goods services from every station, spare old rolling stock which is rolled out for summer holiday trains and special events, enough staff to operate those extra trains, etc, etc... I'm not one for rose-tinted glasses, and goodness knows there were plenty of disadvantages to the steam-age railway, but you can't really compare today's 'product' with what Scotland has had in the past.

PP   18/12/2017 at 10:27

@Neville: I think it's a bit problematic comparing the current railway with the one of 50+ years ago, because so much has changed. Not just travel patterns, but a whole lot more besides - life is completely different. If you look at service frequencies, yes, they're far better than they were, although journey times are actually worse in some circumstances. As for restaurant cars, much as they're a nice idea, their decline can be traced to very different eating habits. In the past it seemed to be the belief that you'd literally die if you didn't eat two massive plates of meat and two veg a day, and train services provided those to meet demand. Now, most people are happy to stock up on snacks of their choice at the much more varied food outlets on stations. For meeting modern needs, I think the current railway does a pretty good job.

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